The Rejoice Book

The Rejoice Book (1,256)

September 1st, 2011

Sadness is a selection. Nothing of any value will come out of this particular essay if we don’t understand this point. Now, there are fine folks who would disagree with me, insisting that sadness is inevitable, predictable or even necessary in some situations. But I think it is foolish for us to find ourselves at the mercy of anything but God. Am I saying that nothing should ever make us sad? There are many things that will result in feelings of inadequacy or drain the joy from our countenances—but putting ourselves through the process of being sad is not only an unnecessary detour, but never produces any fulfillment or solution.

That said, how do we reach a point where we side-step depression and embrace redemption? Jesus talks about it in Matthew the 5th Chapter, in a series of scriptures which we refer to as The Beatitudes.

He makes it clear that men will revile you. “Revile” is one of those old-fashioned words that we rarely use, but is best defined as “purposeful ridicule designed to diminish our character or potential.” In other words, someone targets us and begins to bully.

Jesus goes on to say that people will persecute you. Quite bluntly, sometimes our philosophy gets in the way of other people’s agendas. At this point, they feel if they don’t personally attack us and disprove our value, then they can’t muster greater support for their cause.

Jesus also says that people will tell all manner of lies about us falsely. I can always identify true cowards and pernicious liars. In the midst of a disagreement they switch the topic from the subject at hand and begin to attack me personally.

Jesus made it clear that all three of these attacks—reviling, persecuting and lying—are realities. What does he suggest we do?

He says: “Rejoice.” What is rejoice?

Rejoicing is a decision to remember better times instead of focusing on the present. Gosh, I think we should have a Rejoice Book. Every time we see something come to fruition that we dreamed or hoped, and we feel that giddiness in our soul, we should write it down in a journal, date it and punctuate it with our feelings in the moment. So then, when the reviling, persecuting and lies begin, we can open it up and remember that God does work.

Rejoicing is my decision. It’s a profile I take rather than an emotion I feel. It is buying time for God to win out instead of giving in to the present situation and the pressures.

Rejoicing also triggers something chemically in the human body and the human spirit called gladness. Matter of fact, Jesus called it “being exceedingly glad”—literally overwhelmed with elation. The chemicals in our system and brain are never released to benefit us unless we first allow ourselves the courtesy of believing that God is in control and we make that decision to rejoice.

I will remind you again—rejoicing is not an emotion. It’s a decision to create neutrality while we celebrate what God has already done, waiting for that burst of spiritual and physical energy that births an explosion of gladness in our soul. Most people don’t last until the victory comes—so when it does arrive, they either miss it or feel very foolish for having thrown in the towel.

Yes, I will tell you—it is important to start a Rejoice Book. Jot down somewhere the time, date and feelings when you see God save you from your circumstances. Then, when it seems that all has caved in, sit down and read your own findings and in so doing, make a decision to rejoice, which will allow your heart, soul, mind and strength to rally—and rejuvenate you with gladness.

And gladness is what we will need to outlast our critics. There are only two dangers in the midst of trial: (1) that we will give up; and (2) that we will say or do something we can’t take back.

Rejoicing stops you from such foolishness and it ushers in the euphoria of gladness.

I will never be happy until I decide to rejoice and receive the gift of God—which is gladness. What am I glad for?

· I am glad that my problem is temporary—as it always is.

· I am glad that God has handled much worse situations in my life and brought me through.

· I am glad I am not my enemy.

· I am glad that when this is finally resolved, that my faith will be stronger and my enemies will be fewer.

· I am glad that truth has a chance to be given a pulpit through my tribulation.

· I am glad that human life is not simple—because then the ignorant would succeed.

· I am glad I am me, so I don’t have to pretend to be someone else.

Start your own Rejoice Book. If you don’t, you may be surprised by trials and persecutions, and erupt with useless anger that makes your foes believe they have control of you. I make a decision to rejoice, which grants me the oil of gladness.

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Published in: on September 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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